by Stefan Jovanović, AA 2nd Year Member of Student Forum
15 February 2013 AA Bar, London   Once it was called just Forum, or perhaps even the Forum; that is, before someone realized that it probably did not complement, “a school for students, by students”. Before articulating our current ambitions and structure, I would like to quote one phrase, dug up from a constitution written a few years ago...   “The Student Forum is a student led voluntary elected union devoted to the welfare and the education interests of the students within the Architectural Association School of Architecture…”   Interestingly, an even earlier version of this mission/vision statement excludes the word elected. Hence, it is fair to say that the current system was based on the former statement.   In the past number of years, this committee within the AA has been a rather ambiguous, poorly advertised group of individuals who took on a number of academic and social responsibilities, due more to a sense of obligation than one of motivation. Inevitably it resulted in the forum becoming a one-man band, making it very difficult to achieve the over-ambitious projects, usually set at the beginning of the fall term. Precisely due to this reoccurring, slowly degenerating cycle, myself and other six Intermediate students formed an interim committee over the past summer, agreeing to temporarily manage Student Forum until a proper election process could be instated.   The idea of a Student Forum is to have a body of students that will act as the main channel of communication between the student community and the academic, administrative, and governing bodies of the AA. Thus it is only logical that its members are drawn from the spectrum of years and programmes with the school. To do so, we thought it prudent for these individuals to be elected. Whilst this year may have been more of a test-run than anything else, it was important for every student to physically come, in person, to vote at the Registrar’s Office, if for no other reason than to witness the beginning of a process.   We have been meeting on a weekly basis, rewriting the Constitution, devising committees amongst ourselves, in order to set-up a more efficient model so that come third term we don’t have eleven people bickering over what theme to choose for the End-of-Year party, how much money to spend on Travel Bursaries, what student-initiated projects to fund, etc. The five committees we currently operate through are:   1. Student Concerns 2. Student Project Coordinators 3. Travel Bursary 4. Parties & Events 5. Networking AA Team
Alexandra, Yasmin, Andrew, Jane and Zhudi are currently setting up a system by which the student body will be able to communicate with the members of the Student Concerns committee, raising concerns that need to be addressed. A Student Forum Open Door Day will be established in a week’s time, where anyone will be able to meet representatives in the AA Bar and discuss issues, concerns, or ideas they may have regarding the school. Similarly, Liam, Tyler, Andreea and Alexandra are drafting a list of projects that have been started or are awaiting permission to begin, including reviving the AA Garden and redeveloping the garden rooftop into a second AA terrace, setting up a pop-up dark room once or twice a month, and bringing back the piano into the AA bar.   Sophia, Zhudi, Andreea, Alexandra and myself have finalized the system by which travel bursaries will function this year. The final revised application form and more information regarding the application will be sent out to the student body during the middle of next week. This year’s committee who will assess and award the bursaries will consist of Monia de Marchi (course director of First Year), Samantha Hardingham (Inter 5 Unit master), Hugo Hinsley (course director of Housing & Urbanism), and one member from Student Forum. The deadline for applying will be March 14th.   Sophia, Tyler, Liam & Alexandra are trying to restructure a more transparent networking system between ourselves and the rest of the student body, developing our Facebook & Twitter pages, and the best method for contacting us. They are also working on a proposal for facilitating graduating students with career consultation and networking with other members of the association.   Finally, Michael, Jane, Yasmin and myself are slowly planning both the Easter Party and End-of-Year Party, sorting out the hiring of venues, music and deciding on themes. However, before any of that we hosted a Valentine’s evening on Thursday, February 14th, for the very first time, in the Front Member’s Room. Whilst we may not have been able to reproduce the infamous carnival of 1978, we committed to diffusing a more light-hearted environment and series of events that we hope were enjoyed by all who attended!   If you wish to contact any of us, please send an e-mail to and address it to one of the five committees.
[caption id="attachment_777" align="alignnone" width="360"] Student Forum Class of 2013 - Who's Who?[/caption] [caption id="attachment_778" align="alignnone" width="360"] Valentine's Day Speed Dating Event Poster[/caption]   For more information: Student Forum 2013 Election Notice